Italian Open for the Disabled

Joakim Björkman fourth-time winner at the Italian Open for the Disabled – Sanofi Genzyme

Joakim Björkman won the 2018 Italian Open for the Disabled – Sanofi Genzyme with a splendid on-course performance at the Golf Club Crema Resort, only a few kilometres from Milan in the marvellous rural setting of the Podere d’Ombriano.

This is the Swedish golfer’s fourth consecutive win in the most important golfing tournament for paralympic golfing professionals, organised in collaboration with the Comitato Italiano Paralimpico (Italian Paralympic Committee), INAIL SuperAbile and integrated into the EDGA – European Disabled Golf Association circuit.

33 golfers coming from several countries with different types of disabilities and belonging to the six golf handicap categories, competed on the 18-holes course of the Golf Club Crema Resort (36 holes in 2 days). Moreover, throughout the tournament free golf trials were available for everyone.

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Golf and disability

In Italy, there are many golfing initiatives promoted by the Italian Golf Federation for the Disabled (FIGD), and for this reason, we have no shortage of remarkable golfers: Pietro Andrini, Rodolfo Cappellazzo, Michael Terzi, Paolo Vernassa, Chiara Pozzi Giacosa, Andrea Calcaterra, Mirko Ghiggeri and Stefano Palmieri, to mention only a few of those who have distinguished themselves in recent years.

Golf for the disabled is a discipline that is suitable for sportspeople in wheelchairs, with intellectual disabilities, with relational problems, for blind and partially-sighted people, as well as for athletes with prostheses and crutches. And what’s more: golf and sailing are the only sports in which both able-bodied and disabled people can compete against each other, therefore giving life to matches involving sensational turns of events.

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Golf and social initiatives for the 2022 Ryder Cup

The Italian Open for the Disabled – Sanofi Genzyme tournament held last week was a 2-day event that has thrilled all those present, confirming the success of the work carried out by Federgolf in developing golf within a social environment, a key issue part of the preparation strategy for the 2022 Ryder Cup in Rome.

Guaranteeing full access to practising this sport, inclusive by nature, and encouraging opportunities for free trials for all potential golfers, enrich both the experience of performance as well as the interrelation of the people involved.

Furthermore, it seems that the discipline will be added to the 2020 Paralympic Games, precisely due to its social and civil importance, but also in relation to the large number of disabled players and spectators that these events attract thanks to their spectacular nature.

Andrea Calcaterra, Chiara Pozzi Giacosa, EDGA - European Disabled Golf Association, Federgolf, Golf Club Crema Resort, INAIL SuperAbile, Italian Golf Federation for the Disabled (FIGD), Joakim Bjorkman, Michael Terzi, Mirko Ghiggeri, Paolo Vernassa, Paralympic Games, Pietro Andrini, Rodolfo Cappellazzo, Stefano Palmieri